Article Updated 12/3/20: New video and links to shopping cart at QRP Labs
QRP Labs’ latest incarnation of the venerable QCX QRP CW Transceiver is here! Hans Summers announced the availability on the QRP Labs Groups.io page:
The QCX Mini is now available. Check Links below the picture
That’s 11am PST and 2pm EST. For your local time zone, check WorldTimeBuddy.com. It’s very good for those of us who are terrible at time zones.
First and foremost, the QCX Mini sells for the same price as a QCX+: $55 USD. The aluminum enclosure is an extra $20 well spent. The QCX Mini can utilize the same TCXO module used for the QCX+. You’ll be able to buy it at http://shop.qrp-labs.com/qcxmini.
You can also buy the assembled version for $95 at http://shop.qrp-labs.com/qcxminia
When you buy the kit, spend a few extra dollars to get the FedEx shipping. It’s far faster at the very least.
Optimized for SOTA/Portable use
The QCX Mini has been optimized to for portable use and especially for Summits On The Air. There a three major factors that make it suitable for portable use:
- The QCX Mini only 3.7″ x 2.5″ x 1″. So Tiny!
- 2.5x smaller than the original QCX
- Smaller BNC connector
- Smaller volume potentiometer
- 0603 SMD components (see below)
- Power Consumption/LCD Readability
- The LCD is readable in the sunlight without a backlight thereby reducing the power consumption.
- Low Current op-amps
- 58ma current consumption on receive at 12v or 13.8v
- Simpler Assembly
- All SMD components are preinstalled
- Thru-hole components still need installation
- Toroids still need winding (But don’t worry- T1 is easy, just go slow)
Learn more about the radio in this YouTube Video that Hans Summers posted today:
You can also read about the development of the QCX at http://qrp-labs.com/qcxmini.html.
How will you use your QCX Mini?
I’ve been considering the answer to this question myself, and I think I’m going to get one for 20 meters. It’s a great antenna size for portable use. I’ll make a simple Inverted V dipole and and end fed random wire with a homebrew micro antenna tuner, and slowly burn through my box of over 100 slightly used AA batteries. This will be just what I need to finally motivate me to learn CW!
How will you use your QCX Mini? Let me know in the comments below!